By Dalai 15 Comments
Ugh, I'm jumping on the bandwagon I invented. Yeah, I'm (probably) the bastard who started this top 30 bullshit.
There have been a ton of top 30 greatest games lists and to be honest, you're all wrong and have no taste in games. So I had to do something about it. So here it is, ladies and gentlemen! Dalai's greatest games ever... and there's no questioning their position on the list.
Well, maybe a little questioning.
Alright, there's plenty of room to question my choices. Anyway, here's the first part. And just to warn you, the list can get a tad Nintendo heavy, but that's what I grew up on. And one more warning... you will not see Halo, Final Fantasy, or Metal Gear on the list. Sorry, fanboys... of those franchises. Mario and Zelda fanboys, rejoice and dance in the streets.
One last thing... some of the choices might be a bit "unconventional." You'll see.
30. Sonic the Hedgehog
The Sonic franchise is increasingly becoming a shovelware factory, but back in the Genesis days, Sonic was on top of the world. He was cool, hip, edgy, and a bunch of other buzzwords which catered to the older gamers of the day (teenagers.) It was the game that made Sega almost as huge as Nintendo and for good reason. What makes Sonic great is the combination of great platforming and blistering speed, which was rarely done in games at that point. While others might place Sonic 2 and Sonic 3 higher on their list, I prefer Sonic without the sidekicks. The original game is memorable on a number of levels and is still one of Sega's most popular titles in their illustrious history.
29. Donkey Kong Country
Before Mario took over the reins as Nintendo's mascot and go-to guy, Donkey Kong was the head honcho in the mascot world. He had it all, but his arch nemesis swiped that from him. After some soul searching, Donkey Kong came back many years later with a fresh look and a new platformer packed with a lot of horsepower. Donkey Kong Country is best known for its rendered graphics, but behind the plasticy look is an excellent platformer that doesn't do anything really new, but takes the best elements and gives it a bit of polish. Cranky Kong might not be impressed, but SNES owners loved every minute of it. I certainly did.
28. Air hockey
Air hockey... totally not a video game. I did say my list is "unconventional." You don't need a TV or a PC to play awesome games. Sometimes all you need is an air hockey table or access to a bar with an air hockey table. It's got a multiplayer element, a great control scheme depending on how sober you are, and like Sonic, lots of action and speed. And also depending on the amount of alcohol consumed, air hockey can be extremely competitive and fun with friends or complete strangers... which predates Xbox Live by many, many years. Air hockey has not changed much over the years and it won't change that much from now until the end of time, but it will still be awesome.
27. Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem
Gamers really dropped the ball when they skipped out on Eternal Darkness because it might very well be the best horror game ever made. Eternal Darkness takes the horror genre and takes it in a different direction with the Cthulhu Mythos inspired story and insanity effects. Other than the infamous bathtub scene, the game uses more subtle tactics to get you freaked out: limbs falling off, walking on the ceiling, and various TV effects. The action itself is fine for what the game is about and the adventure elements are fairly standard, but since you play numerous characters throughout and across many time periods, each chapter feels completely different, yet they're intertwined in its story. At the end of the day, Eternal Darkness is all about the immersion and the overall experience. Once you start playing, you won't want to stop just to see who where the story goes.
26. Call of Duty 4
It's hard to argue for a fairly recent game in a list of greatest games ever, but Call of Duty 4 seems to do nearly everything right. The best trait about Call of Duty 4 is that it's not a World War II shooter. Call of Duty 4 is a breath of fresh air as they take the genre away from space and the past and into the present. Alright, the single player might be a little short, but it's still fantastic. I could talk about the campaign, but it's the multiplayer that everyone raves about. I've played a fair deal of multiplayer on CoD4 and while I generally suck, I've had fun every time even during my shittiest moments. Shooters aren't really my thing, but Call of Duty 4 is one of the few shooters that I can get behind. I can see why Call of Duty 4 became a massive success and it's well deserved.
Baseball can be found on nearly every console, but baseball is best played on the field with a bat in your hand and a cap on your head. Football might be the most popular sport in America, but baseball is still America's national pastime and has been around well before Baseball on the NES. I was once a terrible Little League outfielder, but I had fun just being part of a team and contributing what little I can. Today, my exposure to baseball is pretty much limited to supporting the New York Yankees and playing text-based baseball simulations... and as a lover of statistics, numbers, and (here it comes) lists, I have one more reason to love the sport. Now, if anybody wants to start a team, I'm available to play. And one more thing... Fuck the Red Sox!
24. Mortal Kombat II
Mortal Kombat II was the first violent game I've ever played... unless you count squashing Goombas violent. Back in the early 90s, MKII and Street Fighter II were the titans of the fighting genre and I prefered the bloodier, less serious MKII. Fatalities are great and all, but Babalities and Friendships were just a slap to the face of all the detractors who thought civilization would end because of MKII. A lot of the game's success was due to the violence, but the cast of characters, the controls, and the competitive nature stuck with gamers like myself the most. MKII can stand on its own today despite the influx of games that pour blood wherever they can.
The Price Is Right is a game show I wish I could watch more often, but its 11am time slot limits me to watching the show on sick days. And when I turn on TPIR, I pray to God for one of two pricing games: Cliffhangers and Plinko. Now I've never played Plinko in my life (but someday I will) but it must be a blast to play. And it's as simple as a Wii minigame. Just drop the disc into that $10,000 slot... but it's not that simple. It's all about the placement... wait, it's all really about chance, but it's still awesome. For the record, Plinko would rank much higher on the list if the awesomely orange-tinted Bob Barker were still hosting. Alas, we've got the less awesome, less orange Drew Carey.
22. Blast Corps
Now here we have quite possibly the most underrated Rare game ever made. While you were all collecting jiggies, I was destroying buildings with my bulldozer and saving the world. Blast Corps at its core is a puzzle game as you try to knock down the buildings in the path of a truck programmed to move towards its destination without any potty breaks. Besides the demolition missions (hey that rhymes), there are a number of side missions and racing time trials which were fun in their own right. Sure, Blast Corps gets lost in the shuffle among the amazing Nintendo 64 games Rare churned out, but I haven't forgotten.
21. Beer pong
Beer pong is as college as fraternaties, cram sessions, and rape. Just grab 22 red cups, some ping pong balls, some water for dipping, beer, and a makeshift table made out of a piece of plywood, door, whatever you've got, and you're all set. While beer pong is great to play the traditional way, adding Jack Daniels or Bacardi 151 can make things interesting... but I wouldn't recommend it, though.
Well, now that I've sold my soul to the almighty Satan, check out this honorable mention.
Honorable Mention: Ball in a cup
Yes it's ball in a cup. It's the precursor to the Wii Remote. Ooh, I should copyright that add-on. It'll be like regular ball in a cup, but it's white and with motion controls.
Next Friday, #20 to #11.
Not worth reading.
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